IFATCA: 50th annual conference in Amman, Jordan

The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers (IFATCA) last Friday concluded its 50th annual conference in Amman, Jordan. 389 participants from 74 Member Associations (countries) met to discuss how to improve the safety and efficiency of air traffic.
As part of its 50th celebration, senior representatives from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Civil Air Navigation Service Providers Organisation (CANSO), EUROCONTROL and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) presented their views on the future role of IFATCA.
 
IFATCA awarded the Icelandic Member Association for the excellent work their controllers performed in May 2010. Icelandic controllers kept traffic flowing safely across the North Atlantic despite the volcanic ash cloud that closed large areas of European airspace. All available controllers worked handling more than twice their normal traffic levels. During Conference it was noted that controllers often quietly provide essential services to keep air traffic safely and efficiently flowing despite major disruptions. The remarkable work of the New Zealand and the Japanese controllers after the recent earthquakes and the Malta controllers in response to military activities associated with Libyan airspace were noted as other recent examples.
 
Subjects studied by IFATCA over the previous year include environment cases, emission trading, runway safety lights, Standard Instrument Departures and Arrivals (SID and STAR) design, ATC restrictions, flight management systems, hypoxia, continuous descent operations, flow management, close circuit television, alphanumeric call signs, safety management systems, team resource management, English language proficiency, impaired personal performance, diabetes, professionalism, datalink communications, ICAO's Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP) and the Continuous Monitoring Approach, ICAO's Global Aviation Safety Roadmap (GASP) and Global Aviation Safety Plan (GASP) and Just Culture.

IFATCA noted with concern the consequences of the court ruling on the Cagliairi accident and the lack of compliance with ICAO's English Language Proficiency requirements.
 
IFATCA has defined the essential requirements of an ATM environmental management system and environment case as a prelude to further work.
 
Subjects to be studied by IFATCA in the coming year include controller training, fatigue risk management systems (FRMS), protection of safety information, voluntary reporting, standards for deployment of operational software, privatisation / commercialisation of air navigation service providers, supervision and line management, human machine synergy, licensing, disabilities, change management, consequences of court decisions, compliance with English language proficiency, SID and STAR naming and FMS design, Required Time of Arrival (RTA), continuous climb operations, visual observations, merging and sequencing tools, block upgrades concept, transponder mandatory zones, visual separation on approach and call sign confusion.
 
New members of the IFATCA Executive Board are Patrick Forrey (EVP Technical), Keziah Ogutu (EVP Africa Middle East), D.K. Behera (EVP Asia Pacific) and Ignacio Oliva Whiteley (EVP Americas).
 
In his closing remarks the President of IFATCA noted IFATCA's global perspective and of the intent to "engage more with industry" and "engage even more professionally".

IFATCA's next Annual Conference will be held 12-16 March 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
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